lake tahoe

Top 14 Places to Eat in South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite vacation destinations! We typically visit in the winter, because we love to ski and snowboard, but it’s an amazing vacation destination any time of the year.

Below you will find a list of restaurants our family loves in. From breakfast and quick eats to nice dinners. There is a little something on this list for everyone. You might try one the next time you visit South Lake Tahoe.

Breakfast

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! I could eat breakfast at any time during day, including dinner time! With that said, below are our two favorite breakfast spots in South Lake Tahoe.

Driftwood Cafe – The Driftwood Cafe is located in the Heavenly Village and is only open for breakfast and lunch. We have never actually eaten lunch there, but have for breakfast many times. My favorite dish on the breakfast menu is the Eggs Benedict! We have eaten there a number of times with various people and everyone always raves about how great the food is.south lake tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Red Hut Cafe

Lake Tahoe

There are two Red Hut Cafe’s in South Lake Tahoe. The food is amazing at both spots, but my favorite is the original one. It’s a small place with a 50’s diner vibe, and you can tell it’s a restored house. They carried the same feel into the new restaurant on Ski Run Blvd (that is now open for dinner), and even added a Soda Fountain section, but I still love the feel of the original one. Bottom line, either one you choose to go to will have a delicious breakfast!

Lake Tahoe

Red Hut Rosti

Lake Tahoe

‘The Regular’ – Eggs, Hash Browns and Biscuits and Gravy

Quick Eats

Because we like to ski, we are usually on the mountain at lunch time. However, the few opportunities that we had to check out some lunch spots around town, we found a few that are worth mentioning!

Izzy’s Burger Spa – Looking for a burger in South Lake Tahoe? Look no further than Izzy’s Burger Spa. This small burger joint makes one of the best burgers I have ever had. Their menu contains extensive burger options along with chili and hot dogs. The fries are made perfectly every time; soft on the inside and crispy on the outside! They have limited seating indoors and quite a bit of outdoor seating. If it’s chilly outside, you may want to take it to go!

south lake tahoe

south lake tahoe

Blue Dog Gourmet Pizza – Looking for a pizza, salads or sandwiches? Blue Dog is the best choice in town! We have only eaten their pizza, but it’s definitely worth coming back to! Our favorite is the combination and the kids like the pepperoni here. They also deliver, which is very convenient when you don’t want to drive!

Mayas Grill

Maya’s Mexican Grill is located across Lake Tahoe Blvd. from Heavenly Village. It’s a small place, with less than 10 tables to sit. The food is amazingly authentic! My favorite item to get is the carne asada tacos, and my son absolutely loves their burritos!

Mayas doesn’t sell alcohol, so if you are looking to have a margarita or corona with your food, you will be out of luck. But Mayas is so good, with such a convenient location, that it’s usually a standard stop during our visits!

Lake Tahoe

Jalisco Mexican Grill

We found Jalisco Mexican Grill the last time we visited Tahoe. We were looking for a new restaurant to try and wanted something reasonably priced. Jalisco was the perfect choice. It’s located on Lake Tahoe Blvd., but not within walking distance of Heavenly Village, but definitely worth the drive.

lake tahoe

Not only were the prices reasonable for a vacation destination, but the food was amazing. The best part was the chips and salsa! Their salsa bar had a few different types of salsa to try and all were so good! They do not sell liquor, so you are still out of luck on that margarita, but they do offer a variety of bottled beer!

lake tahoe

Dinner

FiRE + iCE – Fire and Ice is one of our favorite dinner spots in South Lake Tahoe. Located in the Heavenly Village, Fire and Ice offers a unique dinner experience that is fun for the entire family. Each person selects the veggies, starch, protein and sauce that they would like cooked and put it into a bowl.

Lake Tahoe

Then, head over to the large circular grill in the middle of the room and hand your bowl to the chef. They will grill up your dinner while you watch their entertainment! The vibe is great, and everyone in our family gets what they like! They also have outside seating with fire pits, which is a great way to relax and have a drink after a day of skiing!

Lucky Beaver

lake tahoe

So, first of all, Lucky Beaver, is not for kids. Patrons have to be at least 21-years-old to enter because it’s a bar with gambling located just over State Line in Lake Tahoe. If you can manage to eat there without the kids, it’s worth it! Not only was the atmosphere fun, the food was phenomenal!

They are known for their steak burgers so that, of course, what we had! I had The Gambler with bacon and onion rings, while my husband had The Blackjack with pepper jack cheese and grilled onions. We split our sides with tater tots and cajun spiced fries!

lake tahoe

I, of course, had a Bubbly Beaver, made with champagne and blood orange!

lake tahoe

Azul Latin Kitchen

Azul Latin Kitchen is located in Heavenly Village. While we have passed it many time, we finally stopped and had a late lunch / early dinner the last time we were in Tahoe. Azul is ‘California Style Mexican’ food, so much different than what we expected. We ere, however, very pleased.

While many of the menu items were food that we recognized, it was prepared differently than we were used to. And it was delicious!

lake tahoe

lake tahoe

The Naked Fish – Do you enjoy sushi? If so, The Naked Fish is the perfect spot! They have restaurants in San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and South Lake Tahoe. We have only eaten at the one in Tahoe, but it’s the only place we eat sushi when we are there. The atmosphere is trendy and fun, and a great spot for the entire family. They always have unique items on special, along with the standard sushi and roll options, along with basics for the kids (like chicken teriyaki bowls).

south lake tahoe

MacDuff’s Publick House – We had dinner at MacDuff’s because my husband met the owner at the village. He invited us to come in and check it out and we fell in love immediately! We eat there every time we visit Lake Tahoe! Their featured dish is Real Shepard’s Pie. It is what my husband orders every time (pictured below.) I usually order the Chicken Pot Pie. I have thought about venturing out and trying something new, but when I only get to eat it once or twice a year, I stick with my favorite! The kids usually order the pizza, which they love as well!

south lake tahoe

Forest Buffet at Harrah’s – I’ll admit that I am not usually a fan of buffet’s, but this is one that I like. They offer a variety of foods which usually includes salad, Asian, Italian and American foods. There is usually a fresh carved meat such as turkey or prime rib. They also have seafood night which is worth the visit! The other thing that I like about this buffet is that there is something for kids too. Usually chicken strips and fries or pizza. It’s a great place for us to go with 2 teenage boys after a day of skiing!

Fine Dining

Capisce? Handmade Italian Cuisine – We absolutely love Capisce?! Keep in mind that I am Italian and my mom makes the BEST Sunday Gravy Sauce that you have ever tasted (at least that’s my opinion). With that said, it’s difficult for me to find Italian Restaurants that I like. I typically steer clear of the chain restaurants for that reason, but Capisce? is anything but that! Their pasta is fresh and sauces are amazing! Admittedly, I don’t eat red sauces at restaurants, but all of the others have been phenomenal! The kids love the pizza too!south lake tahoe

The Chart House – The night we ate at the Chart House the restaurant was basically empty, granted it was 10pm  at night because we were eating there before my sisters mid-night wedding! The service was amazing and the food, phenomenal. They also created a special menu for our party with my sister and brother-in-laws names and date of the wedding. It was a great touch! The only down side to this restaurant is that it is a little out of the way. In the winter, if it were snowing, I might not want to take that drive. On the up side, the views are absolutely breathtaking!

south lake tahoe

There are many other excellent restaurants in Lake Tahoe. The ones listed are our 14 tops picks. We try to eat at each of these places least once or twice each year.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in South Lake Tahoe? Let us know! We will check out out next time we are there!

south lake tahoe

The Best Places to Eat in South Lake Tahoe

When planning a vacation, knowing where to eat can be a challenge, especially if you have never visited before. Being a frequent visitor to Tahoe in the winter to ski, we have had an opportunity to eat at many restaurants around town.

There are a few things we take into consideration when finding a place to eat:

  1. What kind of food we want to eat
  2. Price
  3. Location – especially in the winter
  4. Local restaurant vs. chain restaurant – we like the local ones!

Below you will find a list of restaurants our family loves! From breakfast and quick eats to nice dinners. There is a little something on this list for everyone. You might try one the next time you visit South Lake Tahoe.

Breakfast

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! I could eat breakfast at any time during day, including dinner time! With that said, below are our two favorite breakfast spots in South Lake Tahoe.

Driftwood Cafe – The Driftwood Cafe is located in the Heavenly Village and is only open for breakfast and lunch. We have never actually eaten lunch there, but have for breakfast many times. My favorite dish on the breakfast menu is the Eggs Benedict! We have eaten there a number of times with various people and everyone always raves about how great the food is.south lake tahoe

Red Hut Cafe – There are two Red Hut Cafe’s in South Lake Tahoe. The food is amazing at both spots, but my favorite is the original one. It’s a small place with a 50’s diner vibe, and you can tell it’s a restored house. They carried the same feel into the new restaurant on Ski Run Blvd (that is now open for dinner), and even added a Soda Fountain section, but I still love the feel of the original one. Bottom line, either one you choose to go to will have a delicious breakfast!

south lake tahoe

Quick Eats

Because we like to ski, we are usually on the mountain at lunch time. However, the few opportunities that we had to check out some lunch spots around town, we found a few that are worth mentioning!

SPYDER Sale

Izzy’s Burger Spa – Looking for a burger in South Lake Tahoe? Look no further than Izzy’s Burger Spa. This small burger joint makes one of the best burgers I have ever had. Their menu contains extensive burger options along with chili and hot dogs. The fries are made perfectly every time; soft on the inside and crispy on the outside! They have limited seating indoors and quite a bit of outdoor seating. If it’s chilly outside, you may want to take it to go!

south lake tahoe

south lake tahoe

Blue Dog Gourmet Pizza – Looking for a pizza, salads or sandwiches? Blue Dog is the best choice in town! We have only eaten their pizza, but it’s definitely worth coming back to! Our favorite is the combination and the kids like the pepperoni here. They also deliver, which is very convenient when you don’t want to drive!

Dinner

FiRE + iCE – Fire and Ice is one of our favorite dinner spots in South Lake Tahoe. Located in the Heavenly Village, Fire and Ice offers a unique dinner experience that is fun for the entire family. Each person selects the veggies, starch, protein and sauce that they would like cooked and put it into a bowl. Then, head over to the large circular grill in the middle of the room and hand your bowl to the chef. They will grill up your dinner while you watch their entertainment! The vibe is great, and everyone in our family gets what they like! They also have outside seating with fire pits, which is a great way to relax and have a drink after a day of skiing!south lake tahoe

The Naked Fish – Do you enjoy sushi? If so, The Naked Fish is the perfect spot! They have restaurants in San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and South Lake Tahoe. We have only eaten at the one in Tahoe, but it’s the only place we eat sushi when we are there. The atmosphere is trendy and fun, and a great spot for the entire family. They always have unique items on special, along with the standard sushi and roll options, along with basics for the kids (like chicken teriyaki bowls).

south lake tahoe

MacDuff’s Publick House – We had dinner at MacDuff’s only because my husband met the owner at the village. He invited us to come in and check it out and we fell in love immediately! We eat there every time we visit! Their featured dish is Real Shepard’s Pie. It is what my husband orders every time (pictured below.) I usually order the Chicken Pot Pie. I have thought about venturing out and trying something new, but when I only get to eat it once or twice a year, I stick with my favorite! The kids usually order the pizza, which they love as well!

south lake tahoe

Forest Buffet at Harrah’s – I’ll admit that I am not usually a fan of buffet’s, but this is one that I like. They offer a variety of foods which usually includes salad, Asian, Italian and American foods. There is usually a fresh carved meat such as turkey or prime rib. They also have seafood night which is worth the visit! The other thing that I like about this buffet is that there is something for kids too. Usually chicken strips and fries or pizza. It’s a great place for us to go with 2 teenage boys after a day of skiing!

Fine Dining

Capisce? Handmade Italian Cuisine – We absolutely love Capisce?! Keep in mind that I am Italian and my mom makes the BEST Sunday Gravy Sauce that you have ever tasted (at least that’s my opinion). With that said, it’s difficult for me to find Italian Restaurants that I like. I typically steer clear of the chain restaurants for that reason, but Capisce? is anything but that! Their pasta is fresh and sauces are amazing! Admittedly, I don’t eat red sauces at restaurants, but all of the others have been phenomenal! The kids love the pizza too!south lake tahoe

The Chart House – The night we ate at the Chart House the restaurant was basically empty, granted it was 10pm  at night because we were eating there before my sisters mid-night wedding! The service was amazing and the food, phenomenal. They also created a special menu for our party with my sister and brother-in-laws names and date of the wedding. It was a great touch! The only down side to this restaurant is that it is a little out of the way. In the winter, if it were snowing, I might not want to take that drive. On the up side, the views are absolutely breathtaking!

south lake tahoe

There are many other excellent restaurants in Tahoe. The ones listed are our 9 tops picks. We try to eat at each of these places least once or twice each year.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in South Lake Tahoe? Let us know! We will check out out next time we are there!

 

 

Cancun All Inclusive Resort

Cancun Resort – The Grand at Moon Palace Review

Sun, sand and warm water is all we wanted when we decided to plan a family vacation this summer. We also wanted the ease of an all-inclusive resort because of the freedom that it would give our kids, and us, for that matter! After doing some major research, we decided on The Grand at Moon Palace in Cancun. If your like me, you like to know exactly what you’re getting when you book a vacation. I decided to share my experience in hopes that it might be helpful to someone else!

The Basics

The Resort

There are 3 hotels located at the Moon Place Resort in Cancun; The Grand, Nizuc and Sunrise.  The Grand is the newest of the 3, having been completed early in 2017.  While staying at The Grand, one can move freely to all 3 hotels, which includes restaurants, pools, stores and other activities. When staying at Nizuc or Sunrise, one can move between the two freely, but can only enter The Grand with the purchase of a day pass.

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Mayan Adventure Snorkeling Tour

Cancun – Mayan Adventure Snorkeling Tour Review

First of all, I would like to state that this is not a paid review.  Our family chose to experience this snorkeling tour as it seemed like a great one to try. The review that is below is my honest opinion, which includes what we liked and what we didn’t like. My intent in all of my reviews is to share with my readers my experiences, in hopes that it will help when conducting your own research on a specific topic.

Our family recently vacationed in Cancun, Mexico.  We had a checklist of things that we wanted to do while on vacation and snorkeling was one of them. While we stayed at our all-inclusive resort the entire time, the snorkeling wasn’t very good there, so we had schedule an excursion. We chose the Mayan Adventure Snorkeling Tour through Aventuras Mayas.  This tour consists of snorkeling at 3 stops; a Caleta (Ocean inlet), a Cenote (cavern) and a Cenote Abierto (open cavern).  Each stop was unique and offered a fun new experience.

Scheduling and Transportation

We scheduled and paid for our Aventuras Mayas excursion through our all-inclusive resort, which was very convenient.  The vacation planner at the resort called Aventuras Mayas directly to ask for availability and booked it for us.  They were able to charge the excursion to our room, so we just paid for it when we checked out. Pricing was reasonable, around $115 for adults and around $90 for kids, considering the 3 stops you get.

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Salt Lake City Utah

Our Favorite Spots in Salt Lake City, Utah in the Summer

I have to admit that I was less than thrilled when my husband said that we were going to Salt Lake City, Utah for vacation in the middle of summer.  I didn’t know too much about the area, but knew that it would be really hot.  My husband, however, had been working on his Master’s Degree in Business from Western Governors University and completed all of the required courses in May.  So, whether I wanted to or not, we were headed to Salt Lake City in July for him to walk in the commencement ceremony.

We started doing some research on what we could do while visiting.  We began asking friends and family who were familiar with the area what their suggestions would be.  As we started to discover all the sites that Salt Lake City had to offer, we began to get excited about the various things that we would be able to do.

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Packing for vacation

Moms Guide to Packing for Vacation

If you’re like me, I am always looking for the most efficient way to pack the family as we head out on vacation.  And, if you’re like me, you have to pack for the entire family; the husband, the kids, the toiletries, the entertainment in the car/plane.  Yep!  I have to make sure we take it all. I used to completely stress out about packing, and still do a bit, but I have been able to put together a system that works well for me over the years.

Be Prepared

Being prepared is the key to efficient packing and ensuring that you don’t forget anything.  I begin preparing the packing list ahead of time, usually 3-4 days ahead of time, depending on how long the trip is.  This trip we have coming up will be 11 days long, with hotel stays in 3 cities, so I started my list about a week before departure time.

  • Spyder 728x90

The list created for each member of the family and is very detailed.  It includes the items needed and the number that should be packed. This allows me to give the list to the kids and let them pull out the clothes that they want to take.  If the trip is short, or in a convenient location, I may just let them put their stuff in the suitcase and call it done.  When we get to the destination if they don’t have an item, they can either live without or we can go pick it up.  If the trip is longer or not in a convenient location, I will double check the contents to ensure nothing is missing.

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wear the bathing suit

Mom, just wear the bathing suit!

It’s summer time, and as we prepare for 4th of July gatherings, pool parties, vacations and the beach, moms are mostly excited.  But in the back of our minds, lingering, is the thought of the dreaded BATHING SUIT.  That is right, ladies, you aren’t alone.  Statistics show that roughly 90% of women are not happy with their bodies, and I am not ashamed to admit that I am one of them.

Over the years, I have tried many diets and numerous workout systems.  What I have realized that even when I have reached my ‘perfect’ weight, I still wasn’t happy with my body.  I would still pick apart areas thinking ‘I could lose a little more here’, or ‘It would be perfect if it was a little flatter here.’  Then, I realized that it has more to do with my confidence, than my actual body.  As I look back at memories from when I was younger mom, I can vividly recall moments that I was self-conscious about being in a bathing suit.  Those negative thoughts almost drown out the wonderful memories of interacting with my children in those moments.



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Family Vacation

Planning a Family Vacation

Planning a family vacation is exhausting!  After the process of actually planning the vacation, you need the vacation!  It’s been a while since our family has been on a vacation that we actually had to research.  Our trips usually consist of visits with family and skiing in Tahoe where we usually stay at the same place.  Our other vacations don’t take much planning either.  We usually extend an existing trip for work or for our kids sports tournaments ‘since we are already there.’  This summer we decided to take an actual vacation, where we didn’t HAVE to be somewhere already.  When the choice is left open, how do you narrow down where to go, how to get there and where to stay?

Planning a vacation, really comes down to a few things:

  1. How much money are we willing to spend (usually the first decision)?
  2. What do we want to do?  Relax, be adventurous, hang out in the mountains, at a beach or an amusement park?
  3. Determine how the money needs to allocated based on where we want to go – hotel, transportation (car/plane), food, activities while we are there, etc.
  4. Then we have to research!

Travel Website Overload

There are so many travel websites, that it’s hard to know where to start.

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Summer Vacation

Summer vacation….is it really a vacation for YOU?!

Summer Vacation.  Yes, it’s a sentence all of it’s own!  The time of the year that our kids look forward to, and that mom’s seem to dread!

On one hand, I look forward to it.  Most of the ‘regular’ sports are on break for the summer.  That means no soccer, karate and dance for my crew, and our evenings are actually free!  On the other hand, I have spent the last 3 months (yes, 3 months!) coordinating summer schedules with sports camps, church camps, visits to grandma and grandpa’s, etc.  and trying to figure out how to get them dropped off at 9am and picked up by 3pm…good thing my job is flexible!

How to manage summer schedules

There are many mom’s who schedules aren’t so flexible.  We rely on the ‘village’ to help get our kids where they need to be.  Here are a few tips on how to manage your summer schedules:

  • Car pool – always try to find a car pool – Driving one time is much more efficient than having to drive twice!
  • Find activities that take up a majority of the day – even if it’s just for a week
  • Sleep away camps – YES – as long as your kids are comfortable with it, of course
  • Check out your local parks & rec – they usually have day activities for fairly inexpensive, if you can plan for a group of kids to go to the same activities, that’s even better!
  • Free events – there are usually a lot of free events in the summer, from day time movies, to free days at the zoo, concerts in the park or readings at the library; arrange with other mom’s to take each other’s kids to these events.

How to keep you kids occupied at home

If your kids are home for the day or week here are some ideas to help keep them occupied and off electronics:

  • Give them a chore list and provide rewards for completion; rewards could be money, time on electronics, etc.  Anything that will motivate them to work
  • Board games – as much as your kids might roll your eyes when you pull them out, they usually get into it
  • Let them work – if your child is old enough let them mow the neighbors yard or walk the dog.  It will be an opportunity to teach them about earning, spending and saving
  • Bored is OK – our kids are so used to being entertained by someone or something.  Let them be creative and figure out our to entertain themselves.  Their artistic minds will grow!

These are just a few ideas to help you with your summer plans!  If you have any ideas that you would like to share on how you are keeping your kids busy this summer, I’d love to hear from you!